Publishing. 

So, I’m finally gearing up to publish the children’s story I wrote & illustrated two years ago. 

 Going Through a Maze.  

 

When I was writing this story my father was diagnosed with cancer. And actually, it wasn’t a story it was a poem.   My father even had the opportunity to read that poem.  I turned it into a story after he passed away.  And every Wednesday when my mother in-law would watch McKinley I tirelessly sketched and colored my heart out. 

Unfortunately, I’ve sent it out and It’s not a story publishing company’s want to publish.  Mostly, because it’s a children’s story about Cancer and subsequently death.  Shocker.  But, it also happens to be a story about preserverence, love, friendship, and family. You know, like important shit?

Anyways, I wanted to read my daughter something to help explain what our family was going through at the time, and there just wasn’t anything on the market.  It’s important that there are story’s for children about cancer and death because many families experience this and death is simply inevitable– no matter how invincible you want to be. 

So,  I continue my journey and will be now be self-publishing!  I’ll be sure to let my readers know when it’s ready to purchase. I also plan to donate a portion of the proceeds to help fund lung cancer research.

-G 

My Digital Detox

I didn’t need another gluten free diet or UltraClear detox.  I needed a digital detox.  A virtual cleanse from the Web World.  And, it was an amazing journey.

I was checking Facebook status updates every 10 minutes. Checking Instagram photo feeds. Taking pictures of my own, editing, then posting them. Reading blogs. Creating blog posts. Reading NPR news. Looking at Birchbox videos. Youtube videos. Facebook videos. Twitter feeds.

Ahh! You get the point.

I needed a new kind of ‘reality check.’   I swear, you can legitimately lose yourself in the Web World. I know, because I did.  I became someone who cared more about looking at a screen than having a conversation.  I became more sedentary.  And more irritable.

At night it was mostly the television. First, I would put McKinley to bed, and then turn on the TV. Real Housewife trash. And I was addicted. Disturbingly to the point where someone would ask me a question and it would annoy me if it wasn’t commercial time. Seriously? How sad is that?  Yeah, definitely a low point.

I started feeling lost.  And NOT connected.  Facebook and Instagram and all these other social media devices portray this illusion of a collective ‘connectedness,’ but the more you indulge– the more alone you become.  I was desperate for conversation and human interaction. I wanted to feel alive again.  So, I began my digital detox.

 

  • First, I deleted most of my apps from my iPhone.  This way, I wouldn’t have immediate access to social media at any point at any time.
  • Second, I initiated new interactions with my husband.  We started playing card games at night and reading together.
  • Third, I now leave my phone upstairs in my bedroom for most of the day and night.  The only time I have my phone with me is if I am ‘out and about.’  Periodically I will check my phone for missed calls and respond to text messages.
  • Forth, I decided to watch specific television shows–and limit my television time to those shows.  Right now, it’s Survivor and Parenthood.
  • Fifth, I tried to only used the computer to check Facebook once a day and respond to emails.
  • Sixth, I completely stopped blogging.
  • Seventh,  I allowed myself to still look at and post to Instagram.  However, I did not attach my photos to other social medias.

It was a well worth it experience.

  • I was able to connect closer to my husband
  • Spend more quality time with McKinley
  • Be more present in the world
  • Realize the importance of doing a digital detox
  • Appreciate the small things again
  • Become more active
  • Understand the slippery slope to social media
  • Best of all…I was able to get back to my roots…back to being me.

I think this is an awesome exercise.  Try out some of these methods for 1 week-monitoring your social media and screen time.  What can you learn from doing this? And do you think you’ll notice any differences?

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Monday Milestone

McKinley plays guitar:

Everyday for the past two weeks McKinley has been going over to the guitar and strumming it. And in those moments, I’d think to myself, I have to start playing again— dad would want me to—I’ll feel him with me. But I haven’t picked up the guitar.

When I drive, I sing. Ohh, and I get really into it.  For the last couple of weeks while singing I’ve thought, I should learn this song on the guitar– it would be beautiful. But I haven’t yet. And why not!?

It seems clear now, but my mother actually pointed it out to me in an earlier conversation.
I said, “I’ve been praying for a sign from dad.”
“Today McKinley strumming on that guitar, and being silly– that was dad,” she said. Then it hit me.  All my thoughts from the last two weeks flooded my mind.

I havn’t been listening!

My dad once told me, “God speaks all the time, but very few know how to listen.” My dad believed that at certain times, in certain moments, God spoke through people—That someone could say something to you, and it could be God speaking, and if you weren’t listening, you would miss it.

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Wordless Wednesday

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Do you have a crazy family?

One word comes to mind during the holiday season.Family.

That’s what it’s all about right? Spending quality time catching up at get-togethers, eating delicious feasts, possibly playing games, and of course (if you’re like my mothers side of the family) drinking alcohol. Beer, wine, and liquor.

20131210-231941.jpgMy family is crazy. A good crazy, but still crazy. We’re all loud, stubborn, controlling know-it-alls. So, mostly Irish. In addition, we’re hysterical, fun, and phenomenal dancers. Crowd pleasers! Oh, and we occasionally make a scene (or two) by:

•Breaking glasses
•Belligerently saying inappropriate things
•Arguing a point to the point where we don’t even know what we’re arguing.
•Rolling our eyes, using classy sarcasm, and different voices to poke fun, or impersonate.
•Being extremely silly and acting like we’re still 13. Occasionally acting 7 at the age of 33.20131210-224019.jpg

Case and point. Don’t overlook Alison’s classic stain either.

•Talking loud and over other people.
•Being the “Life of the party.”
•Dramatic exists.
•Making our opinions and thoughts publicly known and “right.”
•And over exaggerating everything.

That’s just naming a few.
Totally fun.
Absolutely crazy.
Love every single one of them.

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This post is dedicated to my mothers side of the family and my cousin Allison. Oh, and before she gets the chance to tell you, or me (for the millionth time)—

I have a freckle on my lip.

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